Once I was reviewing the notes I had taken from an Italian language book I had gotten out of the library. I was reading some of the sample sentences I had jotted down and wondering when I would ever need to use sentences like these:“Our firm’s yearly turnover has hit a record high.” “We left our capital dormant.” “The new management has taken steps that contribute to the profitability of the company.”
But really, you never know.
When I was in Naples I hung out with a group of CouchSurfers at my host’s house. We were all speaking a little in Italian and a little in English. My host opened the notebook in which he kept his English notes and we saw some of the new words he had just learned. An American teenager who was with us saw one of the words: “to dig.” She looked surprised and said, “Dig? Really, why on earth would you need to learn a word like that? When is it ever going to be useful in normal conversation when you travel?”
Later that day I was taking a walk through the city with my host and we passed a big hole in the ground. It was a construction site for part of the metro. No one was there working. In Italian, my host started complaining about how in Naples nothing ever gets done and how it was taking so long to… dig… the metro.
Never say never.
(In Italian, “to dig” is scavare.)